BJP inducts MLA who defended Kathua rape accused

The BJP has inducted MLA Kathua, Rajeev Jasrotia, in the Council of Ministers even as he had taken part in the Hindu Ekta Mancy rally which was organised to support the accused involved in the rape and murder of eight year Gujjar girl in Rasana.

The inclusion of Jasrotia in the cabinet evoked a strong reaction from former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
“Two BJP Ministers removed in Jammu and Kashmir for attending a pro-rapist rally and a MLA who is reported to have attended the same rally is promoted minister. Why are the BJP and Mehbooba Mufti confused about where they stand on Kathua rape?” wrote Omar Abdullah on social media site, Twitter.

MLA Kathua Rajeev Jasrotia along with MLA Hiranagar Kuldeep Raj Verma and two cabinet ministers including former Forest Minister Choudhary Lal Singh and former Industries Minister Chander Prakash Ganga had attended the rally in favour of the accused.

The rally was organized by the Hindu Ekta Manch, an organization launched to defend alleged rapists, arrested by the Crime Branch in the rape and murder of minor girl in Rasana of Kathua district.
The opposition cornered the Government that when they removed two cabinet ministers, how can the include MLA Kathua who was part of the same rally.

However BJP general secretrary Ram Madhav said that “Kathua issue is before the Court. The Court will decide on the basis of truth following which any decision would be taken. There should not be any debate on this issue.”
“There is no double standard. The decision to step down as ministers was taken Ganga and Lal Singh on their own in view of statements attributed to them which were highlighted by the media,” he said.
“Because of such statements, wrong impression was created that perhaps they (both the ministers) were supporting the accused (rape accused in Rasana case) and it was not the fact. They stepped down on moral grounds. The matter is sub judice and it should not be discussed,” said Madhav.
He further said that “Since the matter (rape and murder case) is before the highest court, our stand is to wait for what Supreme Court has to say.”
On a tweet by National Conference working president Omar Abdullah questioning the inclusion of Jasrotia, Madhav said, “Twitter is a free medium and let them say what they want to say. I have answered the question.”
Ganga had allegedly asked then SSP Kathua not to arrest anyone from the village, while Lal Singh had provoked people to violate Section 144 which was imposed in Hiranagar by the district administration of Kathua in view of tense situation.
Their participation in Kootah rally which was organized by Hindu Ekta Manch attracted criticism and later both the ministers were sacked with nod from Prime Minister Narindra Modi.